The folks over at VH1 or Fox Reality Channel should be calling Omar Minaya any day now about a new reality show called, The 5th Starter.
You see with the bullpen in better order than last year and the fact that the Mets are not getting Manny, the only drama left for spring training is who will be the 5th starter in the rotation? And just like any good reality show we definitely have a cast of characters.
You have Jon Niese, the young stud looking to fulfill the hopes and dreams of his childhood by being a big league starter. We have the washed up veteran in Freddy Garcia who is trying embark on a comeback for one last flight of glory in the majors (a la Mickey Rourke). Then we have the teacher's pet in Livan Hernandez who was long coveted by the GM, but didn't get him until he had one foot in the pitching grave. And lastly there's the unknown, no-name, dark horse, Tim Redding.
There should be a rose ceremony or at least Ryan Seacrest appearance in there somewhere. The fact is the Mets 5th starter will be a revolving door this season. I don't think any of these guys will last an entire season. Livan has the longevity, but we all know he's losing his stuff. Garcia is guaranteed to be injured if not utterly implode. Redding and Niese will have their ups and down and find their getting 10 days rest inbetween starts.
My money is on Livan getting the 5th starter job to start the season just because he's Omar's favorite. However by June I expect Redding or Niese to be getting spot starts. I want Niese to get the job just to see what he can do when he's in a regular rotation instead of getting spot starts like he did last year.
Whatever happens, the fact remains that the 5th starter is just that. He's a guy to fill in the gaps and not an arm to be relied upon. Don't let the drama make you think anything different.